Simply Done: A Simply Beautiful Decluttered Pantry

Jan 23

January 2020….so far, so great! And hope you are finding your new year and month to be the same!

Actually, hard to believe we are nearing the END of January. Seriously?! But also believable because I have been completely slammed, which generally makes the days fly right by. My busy schedule is why I haven’t been on the blog for nearly 2 weeks. I hit the ground running when the holiday break ended. Coming up for air today to finally share one of many projects completed this year. It truly has been an incredible month and so grateful for the families who’ve hired / trusted me to help them get organized…or re-organized. We’ve had quite a few refresh projects this month too – those are always fun to pop into. Great to see how the systems held up and awesome to see these sweet families, who have grown and changed quite a bit since we last organized them.

So far this month I’ve decluttered, organized, reorganized, and unpacked kitchens, pantries, garages….and installed a completely new custom garage (flooring to cabinets) and installed an awesome Lego wall system. I ventured out of our normal organizing geotag and headed into downtown SF for 2 projects. I spoke to a group of nearly 50 women at the most inspirational cycling studio in town. Saw a sneak peek of the new website (we are nearly there!). And I’ve been on countless consults for new, upcoming projects.

And that’s only a small amount of the business side of my life. I’ve been just as busy personally. Most importantly, wanted to share that I am way back into the workout gig. I’m talking 2017 style – when I would share workouts and meal plans…I dusted off the old workout journal and purchased a new one for 2020. Been hitting it hard and feeling a lot better. A lot more like the old Sam.

Oh! I’m also heading to Carmel this weekend for a blog partnership. REALLY looking forward to 2 days in peace / paradise…but be sure to follow me on IG this weekend because 1 lucky SO reader is going to win a nights stay there as well! YAY!!!

Anyway, so much goodness to be shared! As always you can see the day-to-day and quick updates via the Instagram feed. But as I mentioned in my post about the new business vision board, I’m scheduling at least 1 day per week dedicated to blogging. Promise to be here more…promise to share a lot! And really excited to share it on our new website. It is SO incredible!!!!

Moving on….today I wanted to share this awesome pantry makeover. It stands out this month as one of my favorites because of the super fun mom (we didn’t stop laughing!) AND because we organized the pantry using only her previously purchased containment. Which was all pretty damn good! She’s been following the IG feed / blog for a quite a while and had invested in many of the great, simple and affordable solutions I recommended. That made this job VERY easy and cost-effective. And kept me from venturing into The Container Store – always a good thing because it’s sale time (store is a mess) and I end up wandering (= spending money).


She has a great walk-in pantry…large enough to fit a full size fridge…

You can see the containers – both full and empty – are products I’ve shared over the years. The handled baskets, turntables, canned food risers…all simple, functional, make an impact and low cost…

It wasn’t all that bad and made sure she knew it. She had done a great job. I think where I came in to help here was decluttering, space planning and organizing – but using what she owned to make that happen.

As in most pantries I organize, there is always a bleed into another space. Either the kitchen cabinets OR the garage cabinets. Sometimes the laundry room or hall cabinets. Many families have overflow bulk items stored in a section of the garage. In this case, she had 2 large kitchen cabinets that contained additional food items, supplements, cookbooks and more. Since I was working on “food”, these cabinets were re-organized as well.

This cabinet contained vitamins, supplements, workout drink mixes, medicine, and some baking items…

This cabinet was dedicated to basic breakfast / bread items and her overflowing shelf of cookbooks, which she admitted are never used. We decluttered these guys and you’ll see where they ended up in just a sec!…


First step – take it all out!

Everything came out of the pantry and cabinets. Everything. We sorted, checked dates, she decided what was used, loved and eaten by her family…she did an incredible job letting go of foods she thought the kids would like or hung onto because maybe if they didn’t like it they may change their mind…or foods she had once tried for health reasons, but were no longer contributing anything impactful or positive. It’s a new year – get it out!

Then everything was cleaned – top to bottom. This is a great Elfa shelving system she had installed a few years ago. Just your basic set-up with solid shelves….

This system is currently on sale – 30% off through most of February. The sale generally ends mid-late month and it’s their biggest of the year – be sure to jump on it!…

Was tough getting a good shot of the wall next to the fridge. But the wine was previously stacked on top of the wine fridge and shelving above it. It was not serving their space well, so first thing I did was relocate the wine collection to the floor or the wine fridge.

Once we decluttered to what remains, the space planning phase of the job begins. This is generally when my team loses me – I go totally dark and into deep thinking. My goal is to create a system that is going to work for that individual family – not how I would want my kitchen or pantry organized. There were already set patterns / habits and I’m mindful of this while planning out the placement of items. It’s why I think through every last inch of space. My goal is to nail it every time.

To begin, the breakfast cabinet would stay dedicated to breakfast because she liked it there and it worked for her / the kids. Therefore I dedicated the lowest shelf to breakfast, with some edits. She had a lot of baking items but doesn’t bake frequently. So I gave her a shelf for only baking…which also free’d up precious pantry shelving space. And the top shelf now holds some of her entertaining items that were taking of valuable pantry space…

( baking containers | cereal containers )

Ahhhh, so pretty!! And organized!

In the 2nd cabinet, I created space for only vitamins, supplements and a few medicine items everyone needs in a pinch. The top shelf was a great spot for a few small appliances she rarely uses and were crammed on the pantry shelves…

Much better!

With the cabinets organized and living their best categorized life, I focused on space planning the pantry. Using her containers I sorted out bars, snacks, crackers and more. These handled baskets, which I have used in our fridge and freezer over the years, are only $4 or $5 depending on size…

They are see-through, easy to clean and are handy for containing kids items…

Again staying in line with their habits, I left the bottom shelves of the pantry organized for the kids but space planned the rest of the pantry to high heavens.


And here’s the beautiful after…

( handled baskets | turntables )

( shelf riser | wine organizer )

Just a little decluttering and space planning = beautifully and simply organized!

Oh, and some labeling too. But not too much! These containers don’t really require labeling, which I LOVE!

Do you spy what remains of her cookbook collection?…

One topic up for debate – whether or not turntables make the most of your corner space. Personally and in my expert opinion, not totally sure they make the best use of space. Previously she had 2 in the corner on a couple shelves…see them here?…

Items were stacked too high. Sometimes corner placement works – sometimes it doesn’t. In this case I moved them front and center and made much better use of her corners by simply creating zones. You can see the pasta zone and chip zone. Not sure either of those categories needs containment anyway because there is generally SO MUCH of both and chip bags take up a huge amount of space as is. Why cram them into a basket???…

This project was transformational and fun…and really pushed me, not going to lie. Love feeling that challenge and fire…and then leaving behind a beautiful organized space. Look at this stunning kitchen!…

And her beautiful new pantry!…


If you saw any products you’d be interested in trying, you can find them all right here!…

Handled Baskets


Canned Food Risers

Wine Organizer

Baking Containers

Cereal Containers

I hope you enjoyed seeing a glimpse into this project and picked up a few tips as well! Excited to share more projects I’ve wrapped up this month…and much more! Let me know how you’ve been doing, guys! Would love to hear from YOU.

Back soon!



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comments +

  1. It turned out perfectly! A good organized pantry is seriously my love language!


  2. Your biggest fan says:

    One lucky reader can win a free night?!?! So that means everyone has like a 25% chance of winning?

    Just kidding…. all four of your readers are anxiously awaiting more nonsense writing about “how busy” you’ve been and your gym schedule (eye roll).

    • Samantha says:

      Hey there local friend! Good to see you here leaving comments again…

      Why don’t you go ahead and enter since the odds are so good. I’ll make sure they take real good care of you!

      Oh….Thanks for the IP address! Gotcha!…even your Comcast account.


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